Automotive

5,000-horsepower Devel Sixteen surfaces in shocking test video

5,000-horsepower Devel Sixteen...
The Devel Sixteen's thunderous exhausts make one hell of a statement, but the motor more than backs it up
The Devel Sixteen's thunderous exhausts make one hell of a statement, but the motor more than backs it up
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The super-swoopy Sixteen in black and white
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The super-swoopy Sixteen in black and white
Yes, it has its own signature perfume. Ew.
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Yes, it has its own signature perfume. Ew.
In the UAE's ocean of hypercars, the Devel is designed to stand out
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In the UAE's ocean of hypercars, the Devel is designed to stand out
The Devel Sixteen's thunderous exhausts make one hell of a statement, but the motor more than backs it up
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The Devel Sixteen's thunderous exhausts make one hell of a statement, but the motor more than backs it up
Looking shiny out the front of a fancy hotel
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Looking shiny out the front of a fancy hotel
Who parks like that?
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Who parks like that?
The doors go up
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The doors go up
Any allusions to a jet fighter are entirely intentional
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Any allusions to a jet fighter are entirely intentional
12.3 litres, 5,000 horsepower, four giant turbos... Is that enough motor for you?
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12.3 litres, 5,000 horsepower, four giant turbos... Is that enough motor for you?
The body's so long and stretched-out that an enormously roomy cabin looks deceptively small
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The body's so long and stretched-out that an enormously roomy cabin looks deceptively small
View gallery - 10 images

Shocking, as in we're shocked a car company would release footage this bad. But UAE hypercar company Devel has a legit 5,000-horsepower, 12.8 liter V16 engine, multiple prototypes, and now a super-lame test video of this spectacularly audacious machine.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the world's hottest markets for ultra-exclusive cars, and Devel Motors was founded in 2006 with the goal of distilling the UAE auto culture into a flatly outrageous hypercar. It would look like a fighter jet It would make five times more power than the Bugatti Veyron that had just glove-slapped the industry into a state of shock. And it promised to break any record put in front of it. It was an exclamation mark; a spectacularly vulgar display of horsepower that would put an immediate end to any bench racing argument.

Fifteen years later, the company is still trying to get the thing built. Perhaps that shouldn't be surprising; take a look at the promises here. The track-only top model promises more than 5,000 horsepower, with a street version not too far behind at around 3,000 ponies. This from a custom-built 12.3-liter V16 engine running four massive 81mm turbochargers. There's apparently a 2,000 horsepower V8 as well, if you're a complete wuss.

The super-swoopy Sixteen in black and white
The super-swoopy Sixteen in black and white

These are drag racing numbers; the only other car we're aware of promising 5,000 horsepower is the hilarious Alieno Arcanum, a Bulgarian Batmobile allegedly being built from a very impressive hole in the ground in a tiny, ramshackle town near the Greek border.

Why would you need that kind of power? Well, you wouldn't. But somebody chasing a production car land speed record might; the Devel is targeting a bone-chilling 350 mph (563 km/h) top speed. Drag rises with the square of speed, and the power required to overcome that drag rises at the cube of speed. Going twice as fast takes eight times the power, in an oversimplified world. So pushing beyond a 300 mph mark that nobody's been able to officially eclipse thus far will indeed take an insane amount of power.

Not to mention a pretty impressive interface with the road. If I was a tire with a positive outlook on life, I wouldn't want to be fitted to one of these. Indeed, the sheer violence of a 5,000 horsepower combustion engine will twist, crush, shake or heat every component between piston and road with frightening amounts of energy.

Many have derided the Devel Sixteen as being pure vaporware that'll never hit the street. But Devel has certainly thrown real money at it. For starters, that ludicrous motor is legit; it's been developed and built by Michigan-based custom builder Steve Morris Engines. SME even tested the thing on its own in-house engine dyno, which the company had to design and build in-house, because who the hell else needs a dyno with numbers that big on it?

DEVEL SIXTEEN Engine Development

There are also prototytpes, which have popped up in videos and images in several colors over the last few years. But the good looking ones don't seem to go very fast, if at all, and when "Supercar Blondie" yoinked the keys to film the world's first drive by a non-Devel employee, all the resulting video proved was that it does indeed have a very silly looking steering wheel, look a bit like a fighter jet, and raise one hell of a racket.

The design is very striking, particularly the giant double jet-style exhausts, the deceptively huge bubble cabin and the cartoonishly elongated back end needed to fit all that engine in. In fact, there's really only one other car I can think of that's got similar attributes and an even larger rear wing – and that one made it from Nitra to Bratislava a couple of months ago without touching the ground.

Either way, Devel has now released a couple more videos of a different prototype. The first, embedded below, shows the aluminum monocoque frame in the spray booth, as well as some wind tunnel shots, closeups on the adjustable suspension setup, and pre-paint carbon bodywork being put on.

Devel Sixteen progress

The second shows an unfinished Sixteen taking its "first test." As with everything coming out of Devel, this video is confusing. It's been shot on a poor grade of potato, hand-held by somebody not familiar with the art of keeping vehicles in frame. The video is prefaced with the announcement that the car doesn't have its turbos fitted yet.

It's also not clear exactly what's being tested, or that there's anything particularly rigorous about the testing going on here. The car blats around taking the odd hairy-looking corner or two, but this isn't a race track; it's the grounds of Voghera Airport, a little way south of Milan in Italy.

The team appears to be trying to test the car's handling dynamics by chucking it into a very slight bend on the runway access road, cack-handedly enough to make the tires chirp, and by reefing the steering wheel left and right as it goes up the runway.

The body's so long and stretched-out that an enormously roomy cabin looks deceptively small
The body's so long and stretched-out that an enormously roomy cabin looks deceptively small

It does seem to receive a bit more of the ol' gumboot than Blondie was allowed to give it, but there's nothing too outrageous about the power on display. And the unpainted prototype shown is rough as guts on the exterior – from some angles it looks like it's made out of play-dough.

Still, while the presentation here would leave a PR rep (or a prospective customer, we imagine) hugging their knees in the shower and rocking back and forth, the message is clear enough: Devel is plugging away with every intention of getting this thing finished.

Will it hit 350 mph? Well look, sometimes it rains frogs, so hey, maybe. Frankly if it breaks 300, it'll be one of the great engineering and brass-balled driving feats of the modern age, and worth every oily cent its creators have thrown at it. We look on, spellbound, at this oddball operation and its fantastically berserk creation. Enjoy the test video below.

Devel Sixteen First Test

Source: Devel Motors

View gallery - 10 images
19 comments
19 comments
KaiserPingo
It's a toy !
Talk about a car and technology, totally out of sync with, what the world needs.
An insult to intelligence.
Even when looked at with old-school hypercar-glasses, this vehicle brings nothing new to the table.
Except that it's new(ish...).
Anil Menon
Enjoyed the write-up. I guess this is a final, defiant shriek at the comet-darkened heavens from the one of the last fossil-fuel guzzling pterosaurs. Ferocious. Magnificent. Ruinous.
martinwinlow
Lame video? Almost as lame as a "5,000-horsepower, 12.8 liter V16 engine... spectacularly audacious machine" even being thought of, let alone brought to market, in a world sinking under the influence of 100 years of utterly profligate (and 50% completely unnecessary) waste of fossil fuel use.
Richard Unger
Pity they couldn't afford a film crew to make a decent video, I lasted about 1 minuet before I had to turn off the sound. Really lame video.
Hopeful
Wow, exactly what the world needs and just in the nick of time. No doubt all sorts of people have been sitting around during breaks between forest infernos and the burning of billions of animals musing along the lines of, "you know, if only there was a 5,000HP car, life would be improved so much for so many." And presto....this important project pops up. Fingers right on the pulse of the planet with this one.
Ornery Johnson
If your prototype is unpainted, lacking full power, and displayed by an amateur photographer, it tends to make your entire operation look a bit shaky. As if you really, really need buyers NOW before the company goes belly up.
EJ222
Yeah... at this point you mind as well make a flying car, right? Those are aviation power numbers.
vince
Tesla will be the first super car to reach 300 mph with it's audacious upcoming 2023 Roadster. Well, we wish they would do that !
vince
If you really want to put HP to the ground use electric motors--one for each wheel and 1500 HP each. Or 6,000 total HP and with 7500 ft lbs of torque. That would be awesome and really capable of 350+ mph. The Krell would even be impressed.
BlueOak
Haha, oh, the “world is ending” crying and chest-beating here in the comments.

Even if you’re a WIE true worshipper - why the worry? This car is not likely to see production and even if it does, at most 10 of them will be built. Minutia.
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